Indian mothers-in-law have decided to go for an image makeover as they form a union to improve their public image.
About 500 mothers-in-law recently met in Bengaluru demanding their rights and campaigning for a change in their public image, which has been marred in the wake of a string of torturous murders of some brides.
Mothers-in-laws have often been portrayed as callous, sadistic and dictatorial women who wield unbridled authority over their daughters-in-laws.
However, the All India Mother-in-Law Protection Forum rubbishes all such allegations.
They say they have been portrayed criminally and often suffer discrimination because of it.
The Telegraph newspaper from Kolkata quoted forum coordinator Neena Dhulia as saying, 'We will try to stop the stereotyping of mothers-in-laws as evil and blood-thirsty by television and popular culture which has led to violation of civil liberties.'
She continued, "Mothers-in-law are physically-harassed and abused at the hands of their daughters-in-law but the popular perception remains that they are the perpetrators. False cases are filed against them and their families and they don't have any help from the legal system."
Dhulia referred to the National Family Health Survey that says young bides aged between 15 and 49 often face eight times more violence from their mothers than their mothers-in-law.
The forum has branches in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Nagpur, and organisers claim they have been requested to set up more branches across the country.Dhulia said, "Our aim is to demand legal protection from the government in this country where mother-in-laws are vilified by the society and legal system."